Cross country team looks to new leaders

Mark Pawlak

For the 2001 edition of the ISU men’s cross country squad, youth will be served.

Sixth-year head coach Kevin Bourke will be counting on underclassmen to replace the graduated seniors that made up three of the Cyclones’ top five runners last fall.

“We’re a pretty young team. We graduated five seniors from last year,” Bourke said.

“Three of those were in our top five. We definitely have some growing to do this year.”

Of his returning runners, junior Mike Mwangong, Kenya native, will lead the team, Bourke noted.

Mwangong qualified for the 1999 NCAA meet as a freshman, where he turned in the second fastest time for a freshman.

“Other than Mike, we have two other returners that I expect to make major contributions, Peter Hess and Chris Francois,” Bourke said.

“Both of them I’m anticipating to work into the top three or four.”

Craig Cartier and Wilson Arusei are two newcomers that Bourke is expecting to turn in low times for ISU.

Cartier is a redshirt freshman from Marshalltown.

“Craig, I’m expecting to make a contribution and be in the top five for sure,” Bourke said.

Arusei is from Kenya and has just arrived in the United States.

“We also have an unknown quantity in Wilson Arusei,” Bourke said.

“He’s starting to adapt to life in the United States. He’s a freshman and hopefully he’ll make a positive addition to the team.”

Bourke said the Big 12 conference will feature many good teams, led by last year’s national runner-up Colorado.

In addition to Colorado, Oklahoma State and Missouri will have good teams.

“We’re hoping to be in the upper division of the conference,” Bourke said. “It’s a pretty tough conference.”

With so many underclassmen expected to be a factor in the Cyclones’ success this season, Bourke isn’t sure of what to expect from his team until after the first meet as the squad had their first hard workout on Tuesday.

“As expected there were some positives and negatives out of that workout,” Bourke said

“I think we’re coming in in pretty good shape.”

The Cyclones kick the season off by hosting the ISU Open on Sept. 14.

The ISU Open will bring in a mix of Division-I and Division-II schools.

“The meet will not be scored, so it allows us to run a lot of unattached people and see how our freshman do,” Bourke said.

“It should be good competition from top to bottom.”